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As the NBA Draft loomed large on Thursday night, a team without a single pick dominated the conversation as the Brooklyn Nets impending implosion gained steam.
Hours before the draft, reports from both ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic’s Shams Charania indicated that both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were starting to consider their options for leaving Brooklyn, as the Nets continued to be unwilling to give Irving the long-term extension he was seeking. Around 7:45 p.m. ET, those rumblings about Irving’s discontent grew into a full fledged report from Charania that it wasn’t just an option for Irving, but now the “expectation” that he would begin seeking out a new team via trade, and will likely elect to opt into his player option in order to facilitate that.
"Sources tell me that Kevin Durant is seriously mulling his future options with the Nets…There's an expectation that Kyrie Irving will now proceed shortly into finding a new home."
— Stadium (@Stadium) June 23, 2022
Opting in is the only way Irving can get to either of the Los Angeles teams, as both will be hard-capped and cannot do a sign-and-trade — but could extend Irving in six months should they acquire him after opting in. Irving also has a number of other contenders on his wishlist, per Woj, but it remains to be seen which teams would be interested enough in Kyrie and all the baggage that comes with him to pursue him in a trade. In any case, it appears there is real smoke towards the Nets losing all of there stars without ever seeing through a full season with everyone, a rather stunning fall after barely any rise at all for the team that was supposed to be the next superteam in the NBA.